January 23, 2017

The Post I've Hesitated to Write

My intentions for this blog are fluid.  One day, it's a place to talk about books and writing.  The next, I've decided I don't have enough to say on those two topics alone and this space would better serve as a kind of family or personal journal.  A mommy blog, if you will.  I try not to post anything too intimate or controversial.

Yet, here I am, going where I'm not even sure I want to go.  

Politics and religion.  Feminism.  Liberal ideology and conservatism.  These are topics I normally avoid writing about without a fictional filter.  These are topics I know bring out the trolls in groves, and who has the time or energy for angry, argumentative people?  Not me.  In fact, before writing this post I debated for several days on whether or not I would close down comments.  Because while I feel compelled to write down the thoughts that are overwhelming me these days, I really do not feel the need to justify how I feel or think or believe to anyone.  Also, my beliefs are well ingrained and not so malleable.  

So, if I'm really not interested in debate, why do I feel compelled to write on these hot topics?  It's a reasonable question.  

I write because I can. 

I write because I have strong opinions on a variety of issues.

I write because I hope there's someone out there who will find a like-minded soul and feel a little less alone.  

I write because I know there are many who call those like me precious little liberal snowflakes that need to get a life, get a job, and check into reality.  They say the protesters this weekend following President Trump's inauguration are just sad that their free hand-outs are coming to an end (insultingly dismissive).  They mock the participants of the Women's March as being overly sensitive feminists who seem to be unaware that women have achieved perfect equality (they haven't). Those kind of comments tend to rile me a bit because I want to point out this precious little liberal snowflake is immersed in reality and wonders if the person complaining about those protesters and marchers has ever looked beyond their own privilege. 

You see, I check off a lot of boxes that my Facebook feed tells me conservatives alone think they fulfill.  For example, I don't get any government (state or federal) handouts.  Instead, I'm employed and make a decent living wage.  I have employer-provided healthcare.  I pay taxes.  I am Christian.  I support the Second Amendment.  I uphold the Constitution of the United States of America.  I support the police.  I condemn violence. I support veterans and active military personnel. I honor our flag. 

That a liberal can be a contributing member of society and can support some of the same things conservatives do should come as no surprise, but I imagine it does to some.  Sadly.    

This last weekend I've experienced a multitude of emotions as a plethora of negative comments streamed across my social media.  I've been dispirited, outraged, saddened, disgusted, and uplifted. I've struggled to keep my opinions to myself with mixed results.  For everything I say on Facebook or on Twitter, there's so much more I keep to myself.  

But I've reached the point where I feel more needs to be said, which brings us to this post.  This is my space in a way that Facebook and Twitter are not.  Here I can take time and space to say what I wish without worrying about bombarding my friends with yet another political post they do not want to read on Facebook.  Here I have more than 140 characters to express myself.

As I have already outed myself as Lefty Liberal, it should come as no surprise that I did not vote for Trump.  I have a great many reasons, none of which are because I'm afraid of someone taking away the free ride I don't get.  I didn't vote for Trump because I found him problematic in a number of ways.  I doubt his ability to run this country in a way that will uphold the democratic values of the United States of America.  Frankly, I think he's unfit.  

That being said, as much as I dislike it, he is my president.  At least, he will be my president until he's impeached and Mike Pence takes over the position.  And that's not wishful thinking because I really don't want to see what a Mike Pence presidency would look like, either. 

Instead of focusing on all the reasons why I detested Trump on November 8, 2016, though, I'd like to focus on what has happened since his inauguration.  When people tell me to "give him a chance," I can already point to some troubling trends that tell me he's already wasting that chance to prove he's the man I want representing this country.

1.  The birth of Alt-facts.  

A combination of photos taken at the National Mall shows the crowds attending the inauguration ceremonies to swear in U.S. President Donald Trump at 12:01pm (L) on January 20, 2017 and President Barack Obama on January 20, 2009, in Washington, DC, U.S. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (L), Stelios Varias

The emergence of Alt-facts followed Press Secretary Sean Spicer's accusations that the press misrepresented the crowd sizes of the 2009 and 2017 inauguration ceremonies in this side-by-side visual of the two events.  It was coined when Trump's best defender and spin-doctor attempted to defend Mr. Spicer's lies.



Yes, all this over something as ridiculous and petty as the crowd size at Trump's inauguration.  That our new president's ego is so fragile that his Press Secretary felt the need to condemn the media for simply reporting a demonstrable fact is alarming. I see this as a continued attack on not just the press but on American reality.  I say this because I know - just know - there will be Trump supporters who will buy into the alternative facts being spun by Kellyanne and now Mr. Spicer.  And I find this alarming.

It worries me because I wonder how far our new administration will go to control what the masses consume.

It brings to mind Orwell's 1984.

The only thing that gives me some reassurance is this amazing letter written by the U.S. Press Corps.


2.  His Aggressive and Mocking Tone on Twitter

I was raised to respect the office of the President of the United States even when you dislike the man in the chair or disagree with his policies.  Trump makes it difficult for me to respect him as a person, which means I can only respect the office in which he has been appointed and hope the man holding it does not tarnish it in such a way that we're years in repairing the damage he does to it.

President Trump's thin skin and delicate ego make headlines almost daily because he uses Twitter like some people use their best friend's sympathetic ear.   Only, instead of bemoaning the world's abuses in the privacy of one's home or over a glass of wine or beer at the local pub, he does it on the internet for the entire world to read.  I find this embarrassing.

Allow me to demonstrate and try to remember citizens and leaders around the WORLD are able to read these tweets.





These are from January 2017 and they are mild in comparison to what came during and before the election.  There have been so many petty and childish whines on his Twitter account that many people, myself included, do not find funny or acceptable.  I try to imagine a world were those tweets were written by Hillary Clinton or President Obama, and when I do I can almost hear the outcry of conservatives across this nation.  The only reason I think they excuse Trump's thin-skinned retaliatory nature is that they can't admit to any disappointment in someone they've championed for so long.

That or they delight in his petty childishness, which I find even more saddening.

Maybe this is the kind of behavior you find amusingly inappropriate when it's your friends or family, but our president should have a better temperament when operating in the public sphere.   He should show more class and restraint.  More graciousness.



3.  His First Moves

For the most part, his cabinet selections have been appalling.  I didn't realize his "drain the swamp" slogan meant he was going to fill every high level administrative position with individuals who appear to mostly oppose the mission of the departments they've been asked to run.

Then again, I have to remind myself that while I find this problematic, most of his supporters want so many different things dismantled.  What I mourn, others celebrate.  That's been the hardest lesson learned this election.

I want clean drinking water, clean oceans, and breathable air over jobs that have historically been responsible for destroying those very things. Yet, I know others are willing to sacrifice the environment by easing EPA regulations because they believe those regulations prevent jobs from being created in their states.

I want someone in charge of education that actually understands and has experience in the public sector as an educator.

I want someone to protect workers over corporate bottom lines. Someone who wasn't sued by his employees because he denied them lunches and asked them to arrive early and work late while "off the clock".

I want someone who is able to engage in diplomacy in the highest office in this nation and, if he's not up to the task, I want the Secretary of State to be able to moderate his knee-jerk, playground bully mentality.  I also want the Secretary of State to have the general citizen in mind while making decisions and not cater to corporate greed.

Oh...here.  This pretty much sums up my thoughts on what I'm seeing in the cabinet selection process and Trump's ascension.


Not my image.  Borrowed from http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/Donald-Trump/ss/Trump-Election-Victory.htm#step30 original copyright belongs to Occupy Democrats.